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Communications restored in Yushu villages

Updated: 2010-04-19 19:59
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BEIJING - All 45 villages in the quake-stricken Yushu prefecture had contact with the outside world restored Monday after telecommunications resumed in the county seats last week, according to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Either fixed-line or mobile phone links were available in 42 villages, while villagers had access to satellite communications in the remaining three villages, said Miao Wei, Vice Minister of MIIT.

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A total of 234 satellite phones were serving the region, he said.

A 7.1-magnitude quake struck the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu on Wednesday, leaving at least 1,944 people dead and 12,135 injured.

Telecommunications in the northwest China region had been restored at county-level as of Thursday, according to the Qinghai provincial government.

Up to 111 of the 185 mobile base stations in Yushu had been unavailable as a result of disruptions to equipment, power and fuel supplies, according to the MIIT.

The ministry, together with China's major telecommunication operators,  had sent 908 rescue workers, 82 emergency communications vehicles, 132 satellite phones, 369 electric generators and emergency communications equipment to Yushu, Miao said.

The ministry had also increased supplies of oil, food, medicines and medical equipment for the region, "enough for the relief of earthquake victims," he said.

The MIIT had started to draw up post-quake reconstruction plans, including ensuring construction material supplies and helping small and medium-sized enterprises resume production.